Workplace health promotion programs: An assessment of factors influencing participation

Tomeka Lashell Harbin, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

Increasing health care costs are indicators of a major threat to short and long term viability of American businesses. As leaders in American businesses and industries face rising health insurance and medical care costs, interest in disease prevention and health promotion increases. Decreasing health care costs coupled with a greater public interest for addressing health issues has led to the workplace health promotion movement. This study utilized quantitative research methods to examine employee perceptions of workplace health promotion in the Mississippi Delta, a rural area identified as one of the three unhealthiest places to live in the United States. Electronic survey distribution and in-person survey collection were used to obtain data. Two hundred thirty-three employees participated from Delta State University and Mississippi Valley State University. Data was analyzed using frequency distribution and logistic regression. Findings from this study suggest when developing or improving workplace health promotion programs, organizations should focus on providing health screenings, healthy food choices, and ensuring program activities are convenient for employees. Developing comprehensive health promotion programs based on the needs of employees and supported by leadership can assist in improving lifestyle behaviors and controlling health care costs for businesses.